Gov. Cox appoints Richards Brandt’s Brian Bolinder to Seventh District Court

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 28, 2023) — Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox has appointed Brian Bolinder to the Seventh District Court, filling the vacancy left by Judge George Harmond’s retirement. Bolinder’s nomination requires confirmation by the Utah Senate.

“I appreciate Brian’s willingness to enter public service and have confidence in his ability to serve the people of the Seventh District Court well,” Gov. Cox said. “I look forward to his confirmation.”

Bolinder is currently a shareholder at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City where he specializes in construction, business, real property and tort litigation. He previously served as an associate at Suitter Axland, Salt Lake City, and is past chair of the construction section of the Utah State Bar. He’s also been recognized by Mountain States Super Lawyers and Utah Business Magazine Legal Elite. Since 2016, Bolinder has served as a judge pro tempore in Salt Lake City Justice Court handling small claims matters.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed by Gov. Cox to serve the Seventh District as a District Court Judge. I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to return to southeastern Utah and serve the citizens of Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan Counties both inside and outside the courthouse,” Bolinder said. “If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will diligently, faithfully, and fairly apply the law in all matters before me while ensuring neutrality and respect is provided to those with whom I interact.”

A native of Ferron, Bolinder has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Political Science with a minor in Russian, and a juris doctorate from the S.J. Quinney School of Law at the University of Utah.

Click here to read this press release on the Governor’s website.

Richards Brandt Attorneys Named Utah Legal Elite 2019

March 2019

Richards Brandt is pleased to congratulate the following attorneys for being recognized as Legal Elite in Utah Business Magazine:

Civil Litigation: Bobby Wright, Rafael Seminario
Construction: Brian Bolinder, Craig Coburn, Lincoln Harris
Healthcare: Cortney Kochevar
Insurance: Gary Johnson
Intellectual Property: Barry Scholl
Workers’ Compensation: Mark Sumsion, David Tolk

Craig Coburn Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

At the 5th Annual Intermountain Construction Defect & Dispute Conference held on February 8, 2019, the Utah chapter of Advise & Consult awarded Craig Coburn with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Craig’s contributions in construction law. Richards Brandt congratulates Craig for this much deserved award honoring him for his level of excellence and longtime service in the field of construction law.

Barbara Melendez Selected as One of 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business Magazine

June 2018
Barbara Melendez

Richards Brandt Miller and Nelson congratulates Barbara Melendez, Shareholder and Immigration Practice Chair, who has been selected as one of Utah Business 30 Women to Watch. Richards Brandt is honored to be associated with Barbara who is a highly respected and valued member of the firm. Barbara’s dedication, expertise and experience are invaluable assets to the firm and the community. We are proud of her outstanding achievements and contributions to Richards Brandt Miller Nelson and the legal community.





Law is Stranger than Fiction | Episode 8 Mark of the Beast

Steven: Good afternoon and welcome to Law is Stranger than Fiction. I’m one of your co-hosts Steven Bergman a shareholder in the Salt Lake City law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson.
Barry: And I’m your other co-host, Barry Scholl, also a shareholder at the firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson.
Steven: And today’s episode takes us back into the realm of employment law. Specifically, in this case we’re talking about a former law school professor who claims that he was retaliated against by the law school. And the way that they retaliated against him was by giving him a raise of $666 dollars and thereby humiliating him by giving him a raise that was the signifier of the “Mark of the Beast,” in religious circles.
Barry: Did he bring litigation into all of this?
Steven: He did. He filed a law suit in Federal Court over it actually and made a number of claims, including the retaliation claim for getting a $666 dollar raise.
Barry: And what was the outcome?
Steven: At the trial court level, not surprisingly, not very good for the law professor. He lost, the District Court found that he had not established that he was retaliated against and he’d not established that the raise of $666 was unlawful retaliation.
Barry: And was that the end of the matter?
Steven: No, he actually appealed the case and took it to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Barry: So, wait a minute, he was arguing that he was retaliated against because he received araise of 666 dollars and he took this to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals?
Steven: I don’t think he chose the Sixth Circuit. It just happens to be that this case took place in Ohio and that Ohio is part of the Sixth Circuit. But you think if there’s any circuit that might be somewhat sympathetic to a claim based on the 666 dollar raise, it might be the sixth circuit.
Barry: Okay and what was his argument?
Steven: On appeal, again, he raised the retaliation claim he had been trying to unionize some of the law professors at the school and claimed that his First Amendment rights were being infringed because they retaliated against him by only giving him this 666 dollar raise.
Barry: Now I understand that originally the raise was slightly more 727 dollars, a figure that was far as we know has no religious significance. How did the school arrive at the figure of 666 dollars?
Steven: Well in question the Dean of the School explained that in that particular year they had broken the professors at the school into three tiers. And a top tier got $5,000 raised the second tier got a $3,000 raise, the third tier split what was left over. Because of the size of the pool and the number of professors who ended up in the third tier, it ended up being 666 dollars when they divided it.
Barry: And is that professor, still having lost on appeal, is he still presumably teaching law?
Steven: He is not. He actually retired a couple years prior to this case being decided and his wife was also teaching school and who had also received a 666 dollar raise was laid off because the school is actually experiencing declining enrollment.
Barry: Okay, now I know you practice employment law. Presumably employers won’t see a case involving the “Mark of the Beast.” What are some issues they might encounter?
Steven: Well, obviously if you’ve got an employee who is taking advantage of the First Amendment right, trying to organize, trying to unionize, you can’t retaliate against that employee. You have to treat them equally– the way you treat all the other employees. And that’s what ultimately protected the school in this case. They could demonstrate that while the raise several anti-union professors also got the same raise because it was decided not by an arbitrary number meant to embarrass the professor but by simply dividing the raised pool among the number of professors involved. So now, if you’re an employer and you have an employee that’s trying to unionize or trying to engage in activities that you think might be questionable and you don’t know what to do, contact the attorneys of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. We’re here to help and we look forward to doing so. For now, I’m Steven Bergman.
Barry: And I’m Barry Scholl and this is…
Together: Law is Stranger than Fiction

Law is Stranger than Fiction Episode 6 Immigration Prostitution

Steven: Good afternoon and welcome to another session of Law is Stranger than Fiction. I am one of your co-hosts Steven Bergman.

Barry: And I am Barry Scholl, the other co-host. We are shareholders in the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City.

Steven: Today we have a special guest, Barbara Melendez, the head of our immigration law practice.

Barry: And Barbara is going to ask the existential question, “To be or not to be a prostitute a pimp or a John and which one might get me deported?”

Steven: The answer might surprise you.

Barbara: It’s true. So should we talk about how we step into that option to be a prostitute, a John, or a pimp, and which one actually gets you deported? I think you have to ask the question of what is a crime of moral turpitude, which is the base for having a foreign national removed from the United States.

Barry: Okay then we will ask, what is a crime of moral turpitude?

Barbara: All right, well a crime of moral turpitude is a crime that is vile or depraved or inherently terrible or contrary to the community standards of honesty of good morals– that’s the definition.

Steven: And so you’re telling me that this definition, which I’ve come across like antitrust law for example can convicted commit an antitrust violation that’s considered a crime of moral turpitude no fraud things like that. But you’re telling me that this applies to prostitution?

Barbara: Absolutely.

Steven: Okay in what way?

Barbara: Well under the regulations under INA 212A it talks about if you are the prostitute then you are committing a crime of moral turpitude. However, case law has shown that if you are, instead of the prostitute, the John then you have not committed a crime of moral turpitude because you are procuring this service. And if you’re the pimp you’re providing a service and it’s not considered a problem of moral turpitude.

Steven: Notwithstanding, the fact that all three are illegal?

Barbara: Correct, but being the prostitute under INA regulations and, more importantly under a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, has determined that the prostitute, who is actually not only committing the crime, but she is violating the standards of good moral character, under the crimes involving moral turpitude, she then or he becomes deportable.

Barry: So that is the penalty for being guilty of moral turpitude?

Barbara: The fact that you are selling your body to services.

Steven: And has this issue actually gone before the Board of Immigration Appeals?

Barbara: It certainly has. It was a decision decided on Gonzalez sex plan, a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals that broke down the language and explained that it appears as if Congress when they wrote this law was focused primarily on those who are committing the crime not those who are procuring the crime.

Barry: Now Barbara, you mentioned INA will you tell us what that is?

Barbara: Sure, the INA is the immigration Nationality Act. It’s basically the premise of law for all immigration related issues.

Steven: And has this issue of prostitutes being deported for prostitution actually gone before the Board of Immigration Appeals?

Barbara: It certainly has. It’s gone before one of the key cases is called the matter of Gonzalez sex appeal and that case determines exactly how the Board interpreted the regulation related to prostitution. Let’s step back historically a little bit so that we understand when I talk about somebody being deported it’s also the same thing as being admissible in to the United States. So you can be admitted into the United States or you can be removed from the United States. It’s almost the mirror image of being allowed to remain or being allowed to leave.

Steven: Okay and so in this case you’re talking about… what happened, what was the ruling in that case?

Barbara: So the ruling in that case was that procuring prostitution– that’s okay, but being the prostitute that’s not okay. And it goes back to the history of people who were admitted into the United States years ago. When the INA was established you could not be admitted into the United States or be admissible if you were a prostitute, if you had mental problems, if you had didn’t have enough money, or someone to support you. Now we’ve added a terrorist provision, if you’re a terrorist. Um, all these provisions are reasons to not be admissible. Terrorism, prostitution just happens to be one of them. Prostitution hysterically– historically, not hysterically– historically, prostitution has been defined as the person selling their body versus the person who has been purchasing.

Steven: So is an example, it’s better to be the buyer than the seller?

Barbara: That would be true.

Barry: So, is this enough to keep you out the door?

Barbara: It’s enough to keep you out the door and it’s enough to not allow your foot to get in the door.

Steven: What about the 5 inch nail in the foot?

Barbara: That one too.

Steven: Alright, so if you find yourself with a strange immigration question, contact the attorneys at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. For now, this is…

Together: Law is Stranger than Fiction.

Law is Stranger Than Fiction Episode 4: Peep Show on the Dead

Do the dead have privacy rights? This is as bizarre as it gets! Watch the entire video now!



Law is Stranger than Fiction is a humorous weekly vlog series presented by the Salt Lake City law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson that focuses on the absurd, the outrageous, and the hard-to-imagine aspects of law and the legal system in today’s society. These guys truly couldn’t make this stuff up. To learn more about Richards Brandt Miller Nelson


Barry: [00:07] Good Afternoon, this is Law is Stranger than Fiction. I’m one of your hosts, Barry School.


Steven: [0:12] And I am your other host, Steven Bergman. We are shareholders at the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Barry: [0:19] Today we are going to start with a question—do the dead have privacy rights?


Steven: [0:23] Before I answer the question, Barry why are you asking?


Barry: [0:26] Uh, this question comes to the forefront as a result of a recent incident in a Denver hospital, in which five nurses were disciplined for peek-a-boo with a patient both before and after his untimely demise. Evidently, this particular gentleman was very well-endowed. One told the others and then in serially they went to investigate.


Steven: [0:53] Okay so you’re saying this is both, before and after, he died.


Barry: [0:58] Yes


Steven: [0:59] Alright. I’m not even sure I want to know… so before, you mean like, they were literally just going into the guys room and lifting up his robe and looking at him or…?


Barry: [1:06] Apparently so—yes.


Steven: [1:08] And after he was dead, they did the same thing?


Barry: [1:10] Apparently so—unfortunately the answer is yes.


Steven: [1:14] Okay so, before I go on… how did they get got?


Barry: [1:19] A sixth nurse, not participating in these activities, heard them talking and turned them in.


Steven: [1:27] And she was able to figure out what they were talking about based on the dialogue—I assume?


Barry: [1:31] Uh, and the length of the conversation, I think.


Steven: [1:34] Okay, well it was a big topic, what can I say? So, to answer your question, the answer is yes, the dead do have privacy rights. They are entitled to dignity. They are entitled to be treated with care. They are entitled to be treated with respect. And there are a number of statutes in Utah, and virtually every other state, to protect the rights of the dead. Your question raises some other issues though. You said these nurses were disciplined. How were they disciplined?


Barry: [2:01] Well the police were summoned and determined there wasn’t enough information to bring criminal charges. But they were suspended and each got a note put in their file.


Steven: [2:12] Okay, I can only imagine what that note in the file must’ve said. So, it raises a number of employment issues– is that what you’re trying to say?


Barry: [2:18] Yes. Definitely.


Steven: [2:19] Okay, what about retaliation? Did these nurses retaliate against the person that exposed their entertainment scheme?


Barry: [2:28] There’s no evidence to that effect.


Steven: [2:30] Okay. But if you’re an employer and you’ve got employees in situations like this or something else arises—you do have to worry about that. How do you protect an employee who informs you about potentially illegal activities that other employees are doing? You as an employer want to know what’s going on in your company and you want to be protected. Because if your employees do something illegal, you as an employer could potentially be liable for that.


Barry: [2:53] [Nodding his head in agreement] Yep.


Steven: [2:54] So what about liability? Are there liability issues here, with this hospital?


Barry: [2:58] Well undoubtedly.


Steven: [2:59] Okay. I wonder how they protect them against that one. So, and then the other question, of course, how does the individual whose parts were examined… did they disclose to the family?


Barry: [3:13} Apparently not.


Steven: [3:14] Okay, so I’d love to see someone claiming it was their family member tried to figure that one out. Uh, the short answer though is yes, the dead do have privacy rights. And if you’re an employer and you have issues between employees in fighting or one employee’s telling you about illegal activities, potentially illegal activities, another one is doing… you need to talk to qualified council. We at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson have a number of employment law attorneys that can assist you in that regard.


Law is Stranger Than Fiction Episode 3: Legal Dueling in Utah

Did you know that in Utah that some forms of dueling is legal? Listen in on this episode of “Law is Stranger than Fiction” to see what’s legal and what’s not!

Law is Stranger than Fiction is a humorous weekly vlog series presented by the Salt Lake City law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson that focuses on the absurd, the outrageous, and the hard-to-imagine aspects of law and the legal system in today’s society. These guys truly couldn’t make this stuff up. To learn more about Richards Brandt Miller Nelson


Steven: [00:07] Good Afternoon, welcome to Law is Stranger than Fiction blog. I am one of your co-hosts, Steven Bergman.


Barry: [0:13] And I am your other host, Barry Scholl.


Steven: [0:16] We’re shareholders in the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. And we are here today to talk about dueling. We’re not talking about Hamilton and Burr. We’re not going out to the Weehawken dueling grounds in New Jersey and we’re definitely not talking about a sword fight. And I definitely want to say that we aren’t talking about the banjos from the film “Deliverance.” But we do want to talk about dueling because surprisingly…


Barry: [0:38] In Utah some forms of dueling are legal.


Steven: [0:41] So when you say some forms, what do you mean?


Barry: [0:43] I mean as long as weapons aren’t involved and the participants are both consenting to duel, there’s no law that prevents consensual altercations in the state of Utah.


Steven: [0:55] Alright when you say consensual altercation, what does that mean?


Barry: [0:57] That essentially means mutual combat.


Steven: [0:59] Mutual combat. If… when you and I are in a bar and you insult my girlfriend or you insult my wife and we say let’s take it outside—is that mutual combat?


Barry: [1:07] As long as there are no weapons involved, it is mutual combat.


Steven: {1:09] Okay, so I can’t break off that beer bottle and have that little sharp edge you use then?


Barry: [1:13] That’s correct.


Steven: [1:14] Okay, um, when you say it’s consensual… what do you mean by that?


Barry: [1:18] I mean you have to give consent either verbally, in writing, or by your actions.


Steven: [1:24] Okay wait so I get out my cell phone and say, “Hi Barry, do you consent to fight me?”

Barry: [1:28] That would work.


Steven: [1:29] Okay or do I have to draw up a contract and have you sign?


Barry: [1:34] That might be a little more technical than required. But if that fits the circumstances, sure.


Steven: [1:38] Can you claim that it was implied?


Barry: [1:41] Sure.


Steven: [1:43] What situation would that be?


Barry: [1:44] That would be that I say, “Let’s take it outside” and you follow me outside.


Steven: [1:49} Okay, so now talking about implied consent… it’s actually an amusing story. An actor was charged with homicide in a fight with a homeless person and got out of it by claiming mutually consent. I don’t know if you’re aware of that.


Barry: [2:01] I did not.


Steven: [2:02} [Laughs] Okay. So, Utah’s statute. Where’s that statute found?


Barry: [2:07] That is found at 7-6-5-1-0-4.


Steven: [2:12] Okay what exactly does the statute say?


Barry: [2:14] The statute says that in any prosecution for criminal homicide or assault it’s no defense to the prosecution that the defendant was a party to any duel, mutual combat, or other consensual altercation, if during the course of the duel, mutual combat, or altercation if any dangerous weapon was used or if the defendant in an ultimate fighting match, as defined under the law.


Steven: [2:38] Okay, so the key is getting consent. Is that what you’re trying to say?


Barry: [2:40] That is absolutely correct.


Steven: [2:41] Okay, so as long as I and whoever I’m fighting with, if there’s consent and there’s no weapons involved then it’s not illegal to get in that fight.


Barry: [2:50] You may be violating some other law, but Utah has no law against it.


Steven: [2:53] Okay, well we’re talking about dueling today. So, I’m not worried about any other laws. Okay well that’s great. So, here’s the reality. Hopefully you aren’t finding yourself in situations when you are challenging people to fights and needing to use the protections of the statute. But there may be other situations in the course of business, the course of everyday life where you need to get consent from somebody or you need their permission or authorization to act. And in those situations, you want to make sure that consent or that authorization is valid. One of the ways to do that is get a video recording of it, put it in writing, or have other circumstances to make it look like that they agree. Anything further?


Barry: [3:31] Nope, that’ll take care of it.


Steven: [3:32] Alright, great.

Law is Stranger than Fiction Episode 2: Argentina Boat

Why does a hedge fund need its own navy?



Steven: [00:06] Good Afternoon, welcome to Law is Stranger than Fiction. I am one of your co-hosts, Steven Bergman.


Barry: [0:12] And I am your other co-host, Barry Scholl.


Steven: [0:14] We’re shareholders in the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City, Utah. And today we are talking about a lawsuit over the use of the word, “dirty.” Barry go ahead.


Barry: [0:24] Well in the 1985 “Comfort and Joy” a pair of competing ice cream companies went to war in Glasglow, Scotland. In a case of life imitating art, in Salt Lake City circa 2015 two competing soda shops went to war over use of the term, “dirty” to describe infused-sodas.


Steven: [0:46] What is an infused-soda?


Barry: [0:48] That’s a good question Steven. A “dirty” soda starts with your standard soft drink infused with additional ingredients. Typically, coconut, milk, copious amounts of sugar, cream, and other flavorings. One food blogger likened it to liquid cotton candy.


Steven: [1:06] And what is the size of these infused soft drinks, or “dirty,” or “nasty,” or “filthy” beverages.


Barry: [1:12} They are sold in jugs as large as 64 ounces and all the way down to the petite size, which I believe is 44 ounces.


Steven: [1:22] What does one do with one of these caffeinated confections?


Barry [1:25] Well these overly caffeinated confections are very popular in Utah because the majority of the population doesn’t drink hot, caffeinated drinks. So, this gives them cold caffeine in a form that one food blogger likened to liquid cotton candy.


Steven: [1:45] Okay so anyway, these two companies are in a lawsuit over the use of the word “dirty.” Right?


Barry: [1:50] Yes, the senior company was granted trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the term “dirty” as describing an infused-soft drink.


Steven: [2:00] Let me stop you right there. They got a trademark on the word “dirty?”

Barry: [2:04] They did indeed. Much to the chagrin of their competitor.


Steven: [2:06] So now they display it on their signs with a TM or “dirty” with a little “r?”


Barry: [2:11} Dirty with a little ”r.”


Steven: [2:12] Okay. More power to the them.


Barry: [2:16} You know, exactly. So, their junior competitor started using the term “dirty” as well, which spurred a lawsuit from the senior user of the “dirty” trademark. Over the use of that term and also over infringement of their trade dress, which would have been their signage, the stores, the cups that they sold these infused-sodas in.


Steven: [2:40] Well when you said that did the trademark holder claim that the alleged infringer was copying the shape, and size, and the font?


Barry: [2:51] Well trade dress could be all of those things. In this instance, they specifically argued that they were copying the look and the feel of the soda shops and the cups themselves, as well as the use of the term “dirty” to describe these soft drinks.


Steven: [3:03] Okay. Well I know in intellectual property lawsuits typically the goal is to get an injunction and often these suits end pretty quickly. Is that the case here or, fueled by caffeine, did this suit drag on?


Barry: [3:14] Fueled by copious amounts of caffeine, this suit dragged on for a couple of years. Uh, and had a chilling effect on some of the smaller soda shops in the area, which avoided using the term “dirty” to describe their offerings. Instead, using terms like “filthy” and “nasty” to describe their soft drinks.


Steven: [3:36] I actually don’t want to know what a “filthy” coke is.


Barry: [3:39] I’m with you on that one.


Steven: [3:42] Okay and so is the lawsuit still going on?


Barry: [3:43] No. Recently it was announced that the two parties had settled. Although we don’t know the terms at this time or if one or both parties are allowed to continue to use the term “dirty” to describe their soft drinks. The suit has been dismissed. But in the mean time, one thing is sure—crowds continue to line up at both establishments to get their daily dose of caffeine.


Steven: [4:06] Well, that’s great. If you ever find yourself in an issue where a patent, a trademark, or a copyright is in dispute, or you think somebody is using your intellectual property, please contact the attorneys at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. We have a number of experienced attorneys in those intellectual property matters. And for now this is


[Together]: [4:25] Law is Stranger than Fiction.





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